Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue

This was on the great album Blood on the Tracks. In my opinion Bob’s best album of the seventies. When I first got this album I couldn’t quit listening to it and I really wore this song out. I could sing this song in my sleep…I know every word because it’s ingrained in my head.

This would make my top 10-15 Bob Dylan songs. I’ve seen Bob 8 times and the first 6 times I saw him I kept waiting for this song because with Bob you don’t know what you will get live. He finally played it on the 7th time and I was surprised the next time because it was the only older song he played.

The song peaked at #31 in the Billboard 100 in 1975.

Talking to  Ron Rosenbaum, Bob Dylan once told him that he’d written “Tangled up in Blue”, after spending a weekend immersed in Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue.

From Songfacts.

Dylan wrote this in the summer of 1974 at a farm he had just bought in Minnesota. He had been touring with The Band earlier that year.

Blood On The Tracks was Dylan’s first album under his new contract with Columbia Records. He left the label a year earlier to record for David Geffen’s label, Asylum Records.

This was influenced by the art classes Dylan was taking with Norman Raeben, a popular teacher in New York. Dylan credits Raeben for making him look at things from a nonlinear perspective, which was reflected in his songs.

This is a very personal song for Dylan. It deals with the changes he was going through, including his marriage falling apart.

Dylan sometimes introduced this on stage by saying it took “Ten years to live and two years to write.”

Tangled Up In Blue

Early one mornin’ the sun was shinin’
I was layin’ in bed
Wondrin’ if she’d changed at all
If her hair was still red
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like
Mama’s homemade dress
Papa’s bank book wasn’t big enough
And I was standin’ on the side of the road
Rain fallin’ on my shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Lord knows I’ve paid some dues
Gettin’ through
Tangled up in blue

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam I guess
But I used a little too much force
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out west
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin’ away
I heard her say over my shoulder
We’ll meet again some day
On the avenue
Tangled up in blue

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the axe just fell
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin’ for a while on a fishin’ boat
Right outside of Delacroix
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind
And I just grew
Tangled up in blue

She was workin’ in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer
I just kept lookin’ at the side of her face
In the spotlight so clear
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I’s just about to do the same
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me “Don’t I know your name?”
I muttered somethin’ under my breath
She studied the lines on my face
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces
Of my shoe
Tangled up in blue

She lit a burner on the stove
And offered me a pipe
I thought you’d never say hello, she said
You look like the silent type
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And everyone of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin’ coal
Pourin’ off of every page
Like it was written in my soul
From me to you
Tangled up in blue

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on
Like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue

So now I’m goin’ back again
I got to get to her somehow
All the people we used to know
They’re an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenters’ wives
Don’t know how it all got started
I don’t know what they’re doin’ with their lives
But me, I’m still on the road
Headin’ for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point
Of view
Tangled up in blue

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

13 thoughts on “Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue”

  1. One of my top 10 Dylan songs. Do you think he was being a smartaleck when he said it was about Joni Mitchell’s album? Maybe he was in the middle of the divorce, then put Blue on one night? About my love for Dylan, I have a soft spot for “Planet Waves” and all of the songs on it. Favorite of the Planet Waves songs: Hazel.

    Like

    1. Planet Waves is really raw and recorded quick with The Band…I like it also. You never know with Dylan if he is telling the truth or what…makes sense though

      Liked by 1 person

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